This chapter outlines the genesis of, and historiography on, the Commissaris van de Koning (commissioner of the king) and his predecessor the Gouverneur, who acts as the head of a Dutch province. The Commissaris van de Koning is not a popular figure, nor has he struck a chord with historians. Nevertheless, thanks to abundant archival material, historians can initiate fresh archival research and start using new approaches. This chapter serves as a point of departure. It will be shown that central to most discussions on the role of the Governor/Commissioner has been the question of centralisation. The commissioners of the king have always had an ambiguous job description. These state representatives have embodied the balance of power between the national government and subnational administrative entities and thus the degree of centralisation. Another recurring factor is the correlation between processes of democratisation and modernisation (or at least transformation) of administrative structures. As important intermediaries of the nation-state, the commissioners of the king deserve more attention from scholars.
|Title of host publication||Prefects and Governors in Nineteenth-century Europe|
|Subtitle of host publication||Towards a Comparative History of Provincial Senior Officials|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Nov 2022|
|Series||Palgrave Studies in Political History|